Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?